Out-of-control boat misses men thrown overboard - WFLA News Channel 8

Out-of-control boat misses men thrown overboard

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

Troy Petro and his fishing buddy fell overboard "like rockets." Those were Petro's words as he stood barefoot at the St. Petersburg Marina Tuesday, feeling lucky he wasn't hurt.

"I must've flew 15 feet in the air," he said. "I remember my buddy, Steve, he was right in front of me - boom!"

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers say that buddy of Petro's was behind the wheel of Petro's fishing boat when he hit a wake, sending the two men into the waters about a quarter mile from the St. Pete pier.

"It was scary because I've seen what sharks are in the water," Petro said.

The two men had just thrown out chum, so the water was filled with bait. There was another danger: the boat was spinning around in circles.

"What happens if you're ejected from a vessel and you're not wearing your lanyard - your kill switch - the boat will continue to do a circle," said Ken Thompson, an officer from FWC. "It can come back and the prop can cut you and it can end in death or great bodily injury."

Eventually, another boater picked the two up. Petro's friend had a broken leg. Officers let the boat keeping spinning until it ran out of gas an hour and a half later then towed it in.

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